How Did I Get Through That?

I’ve been sick as a dog since Wednesday. I stayed home from my teaching job that day, to recover. I had to drive 300 miles to my next gig the following day and I didn’t want to have to cancel it. I had chills, congestion, and a fever on Tuesday night. I was determined to beat the illness in one day even if it killed me. Well, honestly, I just stayed in bed all day.

To make matters worse, I had just gotten back to the gym this past Monday. I had a really good workout and hit the weights working out my chest and triceps. On Tuesday, I felt no pain, so it looked like I was going to beat that lactic acid at its own game! It didn’t turn out that way. On Wednesday, my sickest day, I couldn’t bend my arms at all. I could barely lift them to a 15 degree angle. Do you realize how terrible it is to have to feed yourself your medication or even drink water? I was like a Tyrannosaurus-Rex! I had to place my meds on a table and lapped them up like a dog. I had a couple of straws, that I bought when I was adamant about saving the turtles, in my cabinets, so I used those to drink water from my glass. Don’t even get me started on having to either put on or take off my shirt as I went from chills to fever back to chills and back to fever again. I was living a real-life episode of Mr. Bean.

I felt somewhat better on Wednesday, all be it, a little weak, and got ready to make my drive from Tucson to Kingman, Arizona. I felt okay, but not great. I was hoping to get to my hotel room by at least 2pm to rest, but that was not going to happen. There was a major accident on the two-way road I was on and it backed up traffic for hours. I sincerely hope the people involved were okay. I got through eventually and made it to Kingman by 4:30pm. There was not nearly enough time to nap. I still have to get myself ready to report at the venue by 6:30pm. Time goes by extremely fast when you’ve got somewhere to be.

I made the show on time and met the owner of the venue. Art was excited to see me and warned me about the “redneck” vibe in his establishment. I told him, “No problem. Just tell me where to wait.” He pointed me to a stool at the bar and handed me a check for a show I had yet to perform. No pressure! Jas Clay, the Feature for the night, walked in the door two minutes before showtime. The poor guy was stuck further back in traffic than I was, on his way in from Phoenix. But he made it and we were ready!

Jas did what he always does and got the audience laughing. He worked the crowd like the seasoned vet I’ve always known him to be. I started in standup in 2006, right about the time that Jas was nearing his first year of comedy. He has been one of my favorite comics ever since. I love having to follow him because he leaves so little on the bone for me, which is challenging but fun!

It was my turn. Jas had an incredibly warm and nice introduction for me. I didn’t give him one and just knew that at his level, he wouldn’t need to have me tell him what to say. He introduced me as a “friend” and that meant the world to me. I went up. I hit them with my first joke, and bam! Laughter. I hit them with my second joke, and boom! more laughter. I wasn’t even feeling any of my symptoms any more. I was alert, awake, animated, fun, and in my element. I got my first applause break after my fifth joke and I coasted for the remainer of my set. Just about the time I was going to wrap things up, I said, “Well, I think that’s it?” Joe, a guy in the audience who was such a good sport throughout the show said, “No! Keep going!” I did. I ended with two of my favorite bits, said good night, and walked off to roaring applause.

The minute I walked out of the venue, I felt sick again. I drove back to my hotel, with my head buried in my steering wheel. I got to the room, took off my clothes and burrowed into my hotel folded sheets. I honestly don’t remember how I mustered up the energy to drive home today, but I made it. I got tired of laying down all day, so I started blogging. I’m gonna go lay down again.

Published by Omar Tarango

I am a father, company manager, and a stand up comic. Being a stand up comic is the least funniest of the three.

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